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Rubber Flooring Glossary

Long used for commercial flooring, rubber is now becoming an increasingly popular material for residential flooring. Since it absorbs impacts, resists stains, and reduces sound, it’s a great choice for high-traffic areas in your home.

Due to its many colors and textures, rubber flooring is an amazingly practical and durable addition to all kinds of spaces. These are some glossary terms to know to help inform your buying decisions.

Brava Rubber Floor Tiles - Metropolitan Series

Brava Rubber Floor Tiles Metropolitan Series “Wall Street” from BuildDirect.

Anti-fatigue: One of the benefits of rubber flooring is its anti-fatigue properties. Rubber can help reduce the physical stress caused by standing on hard floors for long periods of time.

Free lay: The most common way to install rubber flooring is to free lay the tiles or rolls. This simply means that the flooring remains in place without the use of adhesives.

Glue down: This installation requires adhesives and is more permanent than free laying rubber tiles or rolls. To glue down rubber flooring, you’ll need flooring adhesive and a large roller to ensure the flooring is properly adhered.

High-impact: Affected areas in your home include play areas, workout areas, bathrooms, and even garages. These high-impact areas are subject to increased traffic, heavy furniture and equipment, and environmental challenges. Due to its durability and absorption capabilities, rubber flooring is a great solution for high-impact areas.

Interlocking: Rubber flooring tiles that interlock require a straightforward installation process. Instead of requiring glue or other adhesives, these tiles stay together thanks to parts that fit together. Since they interlock, these tiles not only stay together but also resist shifting and other movement.

Rolls: Many rubber flooring varieties are available in rolls, which are typically sold by the square foot. Installing rolls of rubber flooring can be challenging, since they require careful, even application. It’s often best to hire a professional to install rubber flooring rolls.

Speckles: These eye-catching elements are common components in rubber flooring. Speckles are generally lighter in color than the base flooring tone, and they add visual interest. They are often composed of EPDM, a synthetic rubber material that can add extra durability to the flooring surface.

Square edge: Most rubber flooring rolls are machine-cut with precise square edge. This ensures that installation is straightforward and that the flooring always looks neat and professional. With square edges, it’s easy to create a seamless look, and there’s no need to worry about matching up rolls or tiles, since each one meets cleanly with the next.

Tiles: Many varieties of rubber flooring are available in tiles. Since most measure about 1 square foot, these units are often easy to install. Rubber flooring tiles are available in a range of styles, textures, and colors, and they require installation methods ranging from interlocking to free lay.

Volatile organic compounds: Many flooring types have high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are airborne chemicals typically emitted by adhesives and glue. High levels of VOCs can easily make people sick with respiratory or even immune issues. Rubber flooring is a low-VOC material, which means it’s a healthy choice for flooring in your home.